131 Craven Street

131 Craven Street
DILL HOUSE circa 1895 – plaqued

     About 1890, mariner Joseph P. Dill (1846-1895), son of Samuel Leffers Dill and Elizabeth Ann Roberson, married Jennie McRacken (1869-1942); they had one child, Sophia. Joseph purchased this lot in 1893 and died two years later. In 1906, widow Jennie married widower Benjamin J. Bell and lived at 306 Ann Street. In 1919, Jennie and Sophia sold the house to Macon and Helon Snowden. Macon St. Clair Snowden Sr. (1879-1935) and Helon Palmer McPherson (1891-1982), married in 1909, first lived with Helon's parents in Portsmouth, Virginia, where Macon captained a steam boat.    
     Macon and Helon had two sons, "Ernie" and "Mac" Snowden. After moving to Craven Street, Macon Snowden owned and operated a hog and sweet-potato farm in rural Beaufort. After Macon died in 1935, Helon had to work hard to make ends meet; she did alternations and rented the upstairs after installing a second front door. Helon continued to run the farm and ship sweet potatoes by train; she was noted as the first North Carolina woman to ship farm goods.
    Ernest Mayard Snowden (1911-1975) graduated from the Naval Academy in 1932; retired as a Rear Admiral. Awards for service during WWII included the Distinguished Flying Cross, Navy Cross, Silver Star and Legion of Merit.
     Macon St. Clair "Mac" Snowden (1923-1995) graduated from the Naval Academy in 1946. Capt. Snowden served as commanding officer of Fighter Squadron 91, embarked on USS Ranger, the squadron that won the Naval Air Force, Pacific Fleet Battle Efficiency Award. From 1971-72 he commanded USS Guadalcanal. Capt. Snowden held the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross and Navy Commendation Medal.
     This was home to Helon Snowden for about sixty years. In her 80s, she suffered from dementia, but was still seen doing repairs on the roof or wrapping outdoor pipes in the winter. Eventually, tenants took advantage of her, not paying rent and stealing family antiques. Helon was finally placed in a nursing home in Virginia, but was buried at Ocean View Cemetery in Beaufort.
    1997 Survey: 2½ -story Gothic Revival with steep pointed front gable, side gables treated with imbricated siding, side bay window and ornate porch with chamfered posts and brackets. A rare example of this style in Beaufort.